Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Reframing for Resiliency

Over the last several months I've been practicing the concept of reframing.  Some times I'm successful and sometimes I'm not.  Reframing is taking the situation you are dealing with and trying to look at it from a new perspective.  It doesn't change the situation.  It changes how you are going to react to it.

Create a different viewpoint.

My biggest downfall in terms of attitude is easily my viewpoint on time.  My time, or what I consider my time.  The concept that this thing or person gets this time, this task gets this amount of time and oh yea, this chunk of time is MINE.  Free to do with it whatever I want.

Life has a way of eating up that time occasionally.   Life chores, kids, owning a business, friends, family all have at moments eaten up "my time."  When it did, I would get angry, bitter, annoyed.  The gamut.  It was a weakness.

There is a quote by Henry Rollins that really got me thinking and looking at this more intently.

Time is not yours.  No one is actually promised time.  How many people have left this world to early thinking that they had more time?

Memento Mori may indeed be cliche.  But it is true.  We are all mortal.  No one is promised more time, another opportunity.  Time is a gift.  This is how I  reframed "my time" to build resiliency in myself.  I am better at what was a weakness.

I hate mowing the lawn.  It is a life chore to me.  It is not going away.  Once a week, I had to suck it up and just do it.  Again, it was something that I felt was robbing me of "my time."  How to reframe it?  It seems silly, but I threw on a weight vest and considered it aerobic work.  All of a sudden something I hated, became something I somewhat enjoyed.  Nothing changed but how I dealt with a life task, reframed.

Thanks to Stu Mcmillan, Sprint Coach at Altis, for his posts and conversation this past week about resiliency.  (Check out his instagram posts under @Fingermash, they are worth the follow)  He states that resiliency is a skill, like any other that can be trained.  It's his posts and conversation that got me thinking that reframing is a way to build a skill to to improve resiliency.

I think learning to reframe things is key.  Most people would consider resiliency to be getting up when you get knocked down.  For athletes, its bouncing back after an injury, a bad race, a unfair call.  Its reframing a disappointing performance.  It can also mean not letting a great performance deter you from the further work that needs to get done.

This past week at US Olympic trials I got to see great performances and disappointing ones.  I got to see Olympic dreams dashed because of someone elses error.  Imagine 4 years of work for a dream, gone because someone tripped you!

I have no idea if these athletes will show resiliency.  I do believe if these athletes will be successful, they must show resiliency through reframing.

The more often we practice reframing the easier and easier it will get, just like training a muscle.  The more you do it, the easier it will work.  The more it will get engrained in your psyche.

I write this in an airport waiting to catch my last flight home.  I was supposed to be home yesterday.  Storms, closed airports, crew switches and closed airports had different plans.  I'll eventually make it back to Grand Rapids, just not on the time I had planned.  I had to do some major reframing for me to not blow a gasket.  It sucked sure, but it gave me some time to read, write, listen to some podcast, and music.    Four things I enjoy.  Would I rather be home?  Yes, but that wasn't an option.

Don't begrudge the time you are in because it didn't work out, be grateful you have life time to deal with it.  


Melvin Tann said...

Well said sir. Apologies for not being able to have some quality time with you during your stay at O Trials, but as you clearly explained in this blog, as part of my athlete's team we had to reframe and get 'resilient' for the next event. Thank you for taking the time to share your insights and expertise. Till we meet again. Melvin

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